The Sickos Face Off!
The Boys of Online Become Debate Streamers
Hey Sicko fans! It’s us, the Sickos.
The big news is that we continue to produce episodes of Anime Sickos every week. Exciting stuff! You may have noticed it.
By the end of this month we will be “vaccinated Sickos” or “well-os” and will be able to be in the same room together. I don’t know if this will translate into anything that affects you, the Sicko fan, other than maybe now when Joe does front-facing camera videos about weird stuff he saw that day, I’ll be in the background going “WHoOoOoOoOa!!!” Personally, though, it will kick ass.
You also may remember us referring to two secret projects at various points in the past.
Secret Project #1 (Big One) is, and I can barely believe I’m saying this, nearing completion. I don’t think it would be crazy to say we will be able to reveal the final product in June. I am calling my shot here: I think this is one of the best things we’ve ever done.
Secret Project #2 (Small One) is also, somehow, nearing completion. Once production is complete, the post-production process will be massively smaller than it was for Secret Project #1 (it will mostly just be Joe and I wondering what the best way to release it will be). Very likely this will be public prior to Secret Project #1. I would personally be excited for this if I were you: the density of extremely stupid jokes is so high that it makes me light-headed.
Once these are out, it will be the first time since July 2020 that we will not be working on Secret Projects. Fuck! We need to think up a new Secret Project.
Behind-the-scenes Italian Content
Hard Times in Little Shitaly
THE SICKOS FACE OFF: The Loop Hero Debate
TOM (ANTI-LOOP HERO):
Loop Hero is a game where the controller comes pre-installed in your older brother’s hands. It’s that game where you don’t get to play. Folks, Loop Hero blows ass. I have praised Cookie Clicker in the past for stripping down “gaming” as a concept to its absolute skeleton leaving nothing but the lizard-brain reward loop. Loop Hero thinks it’s doing that, the difference is with Cookie Clicker you don’t have to pay attention to it.
Loop Hero is a roguelike about a little 8 pixel dumbass who walks in a fuckin circle. You don’t get to play the game—this guy just walking by himself and that’s it.
The circle will sometimes have a monster on it. When the guy walks into a monster (I would simply avoid the monster) a screen pops up that looks like a JRPG. I saw screenshots of this portion of the game and was intrigued because I thought it was a roguelike with JRPG combat. Then I played it and turns out you don’t get to play this part. Instead you have to watch someone else choose the “Attack” option every time until all the enemies are dead. If that seems boring, don’t worry! All enemies have a lavish “two” frames of attack animation for your viewing pleasure. Be prepared to see them both one hundred thousand times.
Defeating monsters has the chance to give you cards or equipment that you can (respectively) play on the loop or equip to your guy. This is the only part of the game you get to be in control of.
Putting on equipment sucks because, like all roguelikes, the key to success is not simply “equip anything good” but rather to curate a build where components synergize with each other. This means that if I get a shiny cool new piece of armor I might not even want to equip it since it might remove the keystone ability keeping my build together when I swap out my existing equipment for it. This means *most* of the time you have to make a decision about equipping something (like, 80% of your actual interaction with the game) you just go “hm...nah”
Playing cards sucks because they do nothing good. In card games I want playing a card to make something good happen. In Monster Train playing cards makes cool guys show up and numbies get higher (good). Even Slay the Spire, a more restrained design, has success hinge on how skillfully you can set up your deck such that playing a card kicks mondo ass (good). In Loop Hero the cards do nothing. They set up shitty little nubbins on and around the loop that give you stupid resources as you walk by them, but more importantly, they also spawn a ton of monsters.
Now here’s the thing: I want there to be less monsters. Monsters in general are bad. Every time I play a card in Loop Hero that makes a monster show up I want to write a letter to the editor. It’s so miserable. As I put it down I’m like “well I do need ore I guess” but then I remember how many boring ass 2-frames-of-animations fights I’m gonna have to sit through because of it and I want to die.
If you run around the loop like an idiot long enough a boss shows up. This is where the game really puts you to the test. Obviously that means that the fight is exactly the same as all the others and you don’t get to play and the boss has 2 frames.
When a run is over you can use your collected resources to upgrade “the town” which gives you permanent benefits. I’m sorry, just did a typo in that last sentence. It should have read: “when a run is over, you’ll go ‘what the fuck’ because you won’t have enough resources to upgrade “the town” and even if you did the benefits are fucking miniscule.” The integers in this game are crushingly low. You eventually get a “level up” mechanic which offers some much-needed Actual Interaction With The Game but a) you level up like 2 times max per run which is nothing and b) the level-up benefits are baby mode shit that doesn’t matter.
Loop Hero blows and if Joe tells you otherwise, he lyin
JOE (PRO-LOOP HERO):
What Tom is doing above is what he does when he starts any game: he complains while proclaiming he will not push buttons any differently. This is known as the Whining Chimp phase and it occurs with no exceptions. Tom and a game might mature out of this phase (like when he wouldn't shut up about Sekiro) but sometimes a game doesn't.
Look, I know the general gist of the show is “Joe has a bad brain and Tom was raised Catholic” but Tom’s brain is bad here, not mine. My opinions are flawless w/r/t Loop Hero.
I’m going to quote and respond to some specific points like we are posting on GameFAQs in 2006
‘the key to success is not simply “equip anything good” but rather to curate a build where components synergize with each other.’
Patently insane thing to say. Synergizing a build is the point of gaming. In fact, I’ll go a step further: to synergize is to indulge in pattern seeking behavior which is what separates us (apes) from other types of animals (fish).
‘Putting on equipment sucks’
‘but then I remember how many boring ass 2-frames-of-animations fights I’m gonna have to sit through because of it and I want to die.’
If you count the sprites when monsters die, it’s 3-frames of animation. Dearest reader, please consider the dozens of frames Tom is erasing with this accounting error.
Also when the Necromancer’s skeletons die they explode like round Loony Toons bombs, which is pretty funny.
‘cards do nothing good’
I can’t believe you would force your fingers to type such lies. For the sake of argument, let’s ignore card design and mechanics. Playing cards puts down neat mountains that look great.
Furthermore, the act of playing a card, any card, is inherently good and pure. The fact he feels nothing when putting down a meadow (+2 HP each day which I realize doesn’t seem like much but what you’re going to want to do is keep them next to time Chrono Crystals to trigger double dawns) means Tom has strayed from The Path.
‘and was intrigued because I thought it was a roguelike with JRPG combat.’
I should have bought you Star Renegades which is exactly that. I failed to accurately sense your gaming Nen. To make amends, I’ll cut off my pinky in front of Tom. We’ll post the video for Patreon.
The game has one flaw though, which seems impossible for something that revolves around upgrading a little town (an unmistakable seal of quality). You can place Battlefields that give nearby enemies a 25% to turn into a ghost when they die.
Do you see the horrible scenario waiting to be played out in this tool tip? This means that a ghost, upon being slain, might spawn a Ghost of a Ghost.
I am not prone to exaggeration so please allow me to speak bluntly: this is spooky. When this happened in my game, my skin became waxy, my face skin tightened into a horrible mask, and my pubes became white like bleached bones.
Tom is wrong, Loop Hero is good, but also be careful out there.